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(c) 2016 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Even Small Medical Advances Can Mean Big Jumps in Bills

CATHERINE HAYLEY, whose diabetes was diagnosed when she was 9, describing the digital insulin pump that helps keep her alive." data-mediaviewer-credit="Luke Sharrett for The New York Times" data-mediaviewer-src="http://static01.nyt.com/images/2014/04/06/us/JP-PROCEDURES-1/JP-PROCEDURES-1-superJumbo-v2.jpg" itemid="http://static01.nyt.com/images/2014/04/06/us/JP-PROCEDURES-1/JP-PROCEDURES-1-master675-v2.jpg" itemprop="url" src="http://static01.nyt.com/images/2014/04/06/us/JP-PROCEDURES-1/JP-PROCEDURES-1-master675-v2.jpg"
"It’s the most expensive thing I own, aside from my house." CATHERINE HAYLEY, whose diabetes was diagnosed when she was 9, describing the digital insulin pump that helps keep her alive. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

MEMPHIS — Catherine Hayley is saving up for an important purchase: an updated version of the tiny digital pump at her waist that delivers lifesaving insulin under her skin.

Such devices, which tailor insulin dosing more precisely to the body’s needs, have transformed the lives of people with Type 1 diabetes like Ms. Hayley. But as diabetics live longer, healthier lives and worries fade about dreaded complications like heart attacks, kidney failure, amputations and blindness, they have been replaced by another preoccupation: soaring treatment costs.

“It looks like a beeper,” said Ms. Hayley, a 36-year-old manager here for an...

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